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I should be grateful if you would have the aforementioned text circulated as an official document of the General Assembly under items 30 and 31 of the preliminary list.
Communiqué issued on 18 July 1977 by the Permanent Mission
of Portugal to the United Nations
1. Since 25 April 1974, all the provisional Governments have stated in their foreign policy programmes that their first objective was to free the Portuguese nations from "the isolation to which it had been condemned because of the colonial war".
2. The decision to establish diplomatic relations with all the countries of the world was solemnly reaffirmed in the programme of the first constitutional Portuguese Government, submitted to the Assembly of the Republic by the Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Scares.
3. Faithful to this programme, Portugal has, in the past three years, established diplomatic relations with all countries, regardless of their socio-political regime and their various foreign policy positions.
4. In the particular case in question, it should be remembered that the State of Israel had been represented in Lisbon since 1959 by a Consulate-General which had always functioned without interruption. In the circumstances described above, the Portuguese Government considered that the transformation of this Consulate-General into an Embassy was a logical consequence of the policy defined in the preceding paragraph. However, its views on this point should in no way be interpreted as signifying any change in Portuguese policy, as defined clearly with regard to the problem of the Middle East in general and the question of Palestine in particular.
5. The recent establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel does not reflect the slightest change in the general policy which the Portuguese Government has defined and maintained in considering the various resolutions submitted to international bodies. In this connexion, the vote of the Portuguese delegations on each of those resolutions has in fact been cast solely in the light of the text and its implications.
6. The Portuguese position on the problems of the Middle East and Palestine thus remains unchanged as regards both the application of United Nations resolutions by the parties concerned and the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories and the creation of a homeland for the Palestinian people. That position was, moreover, unequivocally affirmed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal, Mr. Jose Medeiros Ferreira, in his statement during the general debate at the thirty-first session of the General Assembly:
a/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Plenary Meetings, 22nd meeting, para 275.